OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Pizza, Pool Party and Mocktails at Prem

Northern weaving outstanding, says international designer

Vocational Training Center opens in Mae Sai

The Chiang Mai ‘Classics’ series is born

Champa’s history revised

Food lovers get ready for tasty treats

HSH Prince Bhisadej joins Ad Carabao’s 50th birthday party

Pizza, Pool Party and Mocktails at Prem

Jaime Peske and
Kylie Nealis, grade 11 students, Prem

On Friday, November 12, the boarding students from Prem Tinsulanonda International School (Prem) held a pool party to celebrate all the birthdays from August to November. We were all allowed to invite three friends from the day school and our guests from Kardinia International College of Australia also joined us for a more enjoyable time.

Who could resist a mocktail at Prem’s pool party last Friday night?

The evening began with dinner, where we all indulged in pizza and a variety of delicious finger foods from the Prem cafeteria. Also, throughout the evening Ajarn Urs and Ajarn Josh made the best Mocktails in all of Chiang Mai. We recruited two of our fellow boarders, Job and Vi, to be the event’s DJs and they played the best music from hip-hop to punk rock. Everyone was guaranteed to hear at least one of their favorite songs, if not more.

Your authors, Jaime and Kylie, dance the night away at Prem’s fun-filled pool party.

Let’s not forget that this was a pool party, so of course there were many scenes of “who can push who in first” as well as kayak races, diving contests, and just good old fun swimming.

As the night got cooler, most of the pool goers decided to get out of the water and resort to a warmer kind of fun - dancing. This went on for most of the rest of the evening, with everyone enjoying themselves immensely. It’s probably fair to say that the highlight of the dance festivities was Ajarn David with his entertaining dance with Tam, during the song “American Pie”.

It can be said that the pool party was just what the students and staff at Prem needed to add some festivities to the school term. Undoubtedly everyone is looking forward to the next event like this! We would like to thank Ajarn Marie, all the interns, and the rest of the Prem staff for putting on such a great event.


Northern weaving outstanding, says international designer

Chiang Mai Fashion and Jewelry week shows Lanna fashions

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The Chiang Mai Fashion and Jewelry show was able to highlight some new fashion ideas, with the Raffles LaSalle designer Akarat Varinsathien demonstrating just why he has won international acclaim and awards.

Akarat Varinsathien, a lecturer in Fashion Design at the Raffles LaSalle International Design School poses with a model at the Fashion and Jewelry Festival 2004.

“Chiang Mai fashion is outstanding and very interesting in its use of Lanna textile that shows off the real Lanna identity,” said Akarat, a fashion design lecturer of Raffles LaSalle International Design School.

Akarat took part in the recent Chiang Mai Fashion and Jewelry Week 2004 which was held at Thapae Gate with his own-design fashion show set under the concept, “The Starry Twilight”.

Some of his designer clothes shown at the Fashion and Jewelry Festival 2004.

“Northern weaving cloth is out of the ordinary and charming, just made to be applied with others of my designer clothes,” said Akarat.

“Chiang Mai has not reached the highest point of what can be achieved in the North, but with the help and the expertise of professionals like Bamas Chan, (who choreographed the show) it is on the way,” he said.

The show was a fusion of East meets West as well as a merger of hot and cool colors, according to Akarat.

Having great talent and ability in producing fashion clothes, Akarat plans to join the next “The 5th Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade” on December 4 and the international Malaysia Fashion Week in Kuala Lumpur.


Vocational Training Center opens in Mae Sai

SES (Bonn) supplies expert trainers

Uwe Konrad

A Vocational Centre has been established for Mae Sai underprivileged children and young adults. With help from different local organizations such as Child life, DEPDC, and Herbal House, the Vocational Training Centre is an important part of the rehabilitation and integration of the youths back into society.

The centre began by offering three courses: English, computers and a mechanics course with the main focus on motorcycle repair.

With help from different local organizations such as Child life, DEPDC, and Herbal House, a Vocational Centre has been established for Mae Sai underprivileged children and young adults.

A health and hygiene course for the staff of local organizations will take place in November this year, followed by a basics of bakery course in January next year run by a master baker from Germany.

One week after opening, the centre was flooded with 300 applications. Since then, the centre has already taught 60 teenagers on the offered subjects.

The aim of the vocational training is to prepare the youths for their professional futures. This provides them with a better chance on the labour market. This opportunity will help them to break through the poverty level, in which most participants live.

The mechanics course is taught by a German master mechanic and runs for about three months. The seven participants in this course are taught theory as well as practical work in the VTC workshop, including how to maintain and repair the engine, brakes, clutch and other parts of the motorcycle. “At the beginning there have been some problems with the translation from English to Thai, because of the very specific terms. But since we found a very good translator, the course is running very smoothly,” said Hartmut K๖gler, the SES-Expert. “I am very surprised at the energy and effort the youths put into our mechanics course. They very quickly understood the theory of the engine and I am looking forward to come again next year.”

In March he will come back to enlarge the skills of the youths and to teach them how to weld. After finishing the program, the youths will be given “training on the job” in co-operation with local motorcycle repair shops.

The mechanic-teacher was sent from the “Senior Expert Service” (SES), a German organisation which is sending experts to the Vocational Training Centre. These experts will guarantee a very high quality in the courses. The major costs for the experts are covered by the SES funding. Thanks to the SES Bonn again, for making this program possible.

Since the Vocational Training Centre was not created from extensive funding, we urgently need support to make our program more efficient. Donations or other support is very welcomed. Contact the Vocational Training Centre Mae Sai, 249/11 Moo 8, Tesaban 22, Tambon Viepangkham, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai 57130, tel/fax: 0-5373-2527. Or visit our website: www.vocational-training-center.org


The Chiang Mai ‘Classics’ series is born

Discounts available for subscribers

Cory Croymans

As a result of last month’s successful performance by the Chiang Mai Symphony Orchestra at the Kad Theatre, a small group of music lovers has put their heads and finances together to organize a number of concerts for Chiang Mai’s music lovers. These concerts will be called Chiang Mai Classics.

Judith Utley (left on harp) and the musicians from the CMSO are something we will see more often in 2005.

The first objective of this initiative is to support and motivate the Chiang Mai musicians and hopefully prevent them emigrating to Bangkok. The second objective is to develop more interest in classical music and the last objective is to support the activities of the New Life Foundation, under the Patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Mother.

Each concert will feature a variety of instruments, composers and performers, with some music interspersed with more light-hearted pieces. The first three concerts are already scheduled for January 28, February 25, and March 26, next year.

For the January concert, the pieces were carefully selected to present small groups of quartets, trios and duets. There will be Saint-Saens’ famous “Swan” piece for cello and harp which will be played by Karin Mekara and Judith Utley, and Beethoven’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano by Chaipruk Mekara, Karin Mekara and David Wilson.

The proceeds from the series will be shared with the musicians and the New Life Foundation. Season tickets for this series of three concerts will be sold to subscribers at a special rate well before the start of the first concert. A higher price will be charged for non-subscribers whose tickets will become available about two weeks before each concert.

To organize such a major event, much hard work and sponsorship will be needed. If you want to support this initiative or wish to have more details about the concert program, please email [email protected] or call 01 8811 004


Champa’s history revised

Michael Vickery at the Alliance Francaise

Reinhard Hohler

The room for the monthly Informal Northern Thai Group (INTG) meeting at the Alliance Francaise in Chiang Mai was packed, when American Michael Vickery gave an introduction to the history and significance of Champa on Nov 9, 2004.

Brian Hubbard introduces guest speaker Michael Vickery  at the Alliance Francaise. 

On hand was a map of Vietnam that showed the location of several city-states of the ancient Champa Kingdom along the coast of Vietnam. Michael singled out the states of Amaravati near present-day Da Nang, Vijaya near Qui Nhon, Kauthara near Nha Trang and Panduranga in the southern part of Central Vietnam.

The Austronesian Cham, as a sea-faring ethnic group of people from the island of Borneo, arrived at Sa Huynh as early as 500BC. From there, they expanded north and south by moving their capitals according to trade relations with their neighbors, the Vietnamese in the north and the Khmer people in the south. There was never a united Champa Kingdom like earlier reports of French researchers and archeologists suggest.

Michael also showed some slides to illustrate the impressive brick towers built on hills along the coast of the South China Sea and sculptures from the Da Nang Museum of Cham Art that are dated from the 6th-15th centuries. The sophisticated civilization of the Cham appeared to disappear completely in the 18th century.

Michael Vickery became interested in Champa through his work on ancient Cambodia and started looking at Champa seriously five years ago. Recently, he has been asked to write the history chapter for the guidebook to an exhibition of “Champa Art” by the Museum Guimet in Paris to be shown in late 2005.


Food lovers get ready for tasty treats

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The Chiang Mai Restaurant Club will hold the 17th Chiang Mai Food Festival from November 30 - December 6 at the Muan Jai Square of the Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai.

Models display clothes and vegetable decorations to invite people to join the Food Festival.

The festival is supported by many governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Chiang Mai Municipality, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, the 6th Agricultural Promotion Office, the 10th Health Center, Thai Airways, Bio-Foam, and Pepsi.

Restaurants joining the festival have to pass the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office’s Clean Food Good Taste standards. Activities include demonstrations of tribal foods and dishes from many eminent Chiang Mai people and restaurant owners. Beer drinking and eating competitions are set to challenge all food and drink lovers. An ice-carving competition and Khantoke set arrangements competition will be held as well.

The highlight of the festival will be the special dinner talks by Dr Duangduen Na Chiangmai, Deputy Governor Prinya Parnthong and Sa-ngar Damapong from the Department of Health.

Products from the ‘Food Safety Chiang Mai’ campaign will be on sale. Bio-foam plates and containers made from cassava will be used by the restaurants for the first time in Chiang Mai to encourage the use of these eco-friendly containers which can afterwards be used as animal feed. This will also help solve the municipality’s problem of waste disposal.

La Gondola, Tropicana, Antique House, Ban Rai Steak House, Him Restaurant and Aerothai Club Restaurant have already indicated they will take part. Other restaurants interested in joining the festival should contact the Chiang Mai Restaurant Club at 0-5321-1259 or 0-1531-5810.


HSH Prince Bhisadej joins Ad Carabao’s 50th birthday party

Saksit Meesubkwang

The 50th birthday party for Ad Carabao (Yuenyong Arpakul) was held at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on November 9. His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, chairman of the Royal Project Foundation, and Vorapong Moochaotai, president of the Thai Hotel Association’s Northern Chapter, were honorary guests. Over 2,000 fans also attended.

The famous singer Ad Carabao (first left, back row) with the three students from Weruwan School at his birthday party at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

“It was the most impressive birthday for me because thousands of my fans congratulated me and more importantly, His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej joined the party,” said the famous singer.

Jaroen Siriwattanapakdee, the owner of Chang Beer used the occasion to donate 150,000 baht to Ad as scholarships for three needy students from Weruwan School in Sarapee district, Chiang Mai.